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Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Currently I do not have the opportunity to draw on a computer or in fact import images from elsewhere, so, just to keep up my blog I'm revisiting something I've posted before.

This was one of my original folio pieces, and will be well remembered by my pals Lee and Lisa.
I picked it to post for a reason.
This image was done 11 years ago (sorry L and L but it's true).
It's a vector based image and was done in Illustrator, and at the time was considered to be rather innovative and fresh and a little bit exciting.
These days it's kind of quaint, because not only have vector based techniques improved vastly (mostly to clone the same 50's/60's/70's advertising images over and over again), but because we see so much vector based artwork that almost none if it is even remotely fresh or exciting.
Once upon a time when someone wanted to get an image seen on masse by others, it had to be printed on something - a pamphlet, the newspaper, milk cartons.
These days any shlub with a little computer knowledge can knock out something that can be put one the internet and be seen by millions of others who are equally shlublike.
Shlubs patting shlubs on the back and everyone feeling good about themselves.
Is this what good images are about?
Does popular opinion make an image "good" or "cool" or whatever other middle of the road adjective you care to throw about?
Is it good because it looks like something you like?
If I repainted the Mona Lisa in Photoshop would it garner the same number of fanboys if I were recreating Harvey Kutzman?

"Standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold" is a lyric from a pop song I enjoyed as a teenager (it's an REM tune and the line may be from elsewhere if anyone else knows).
This is not to say we shouldn't be influenced or hide the influences of those we admire, but why is it always being played so safely - especially in young image makers?
Till next time...


G3T Films said...

That's exactly what good images are about these days!

Me likey Schlubs, they likey me, now pat me on the back.

limbolo said...

"Standing on the shoulders of giants" is normally associated with Isaac Newton, although the expression goes back a long way.
They're does seem to be a secret ethic of politeness in the image-blogging network. It goes something like this: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all..." I wonder why?
Repainting the MONA LISA in photoshop would be bound to gather interest. Anything to do with something/someone famous will draw a crowd. The image itself would not need to be interesting - or even any good. When the MONA LISA was stolen from the Louvre in the late 19th.C more people showed up to see the empty space on the wall than had ever come to see the picture that had been hanging there.

Elliot Cowan said...

At the moment Neil, unless you'd like to tackle it yourself, I think our pal Andrei is the only one qualified for the job, although he hardly needs the publicity or adoration...

dodo said...

"Does popular opinion make an image "good" or "cool"..."
What exactly is "popular opinion", is there any accurate definition of it?-i'm not sure...

Elliot Cowan said...

Spend 4 or 5 minutes cruising the blogs, Dodos, then you'll discover what is apparently good and cool.

Mike said...

Speaking as a writer: good and cool are artistically irrelevant words (unless you'r a Beat).

I like your drawings (art if you feel like it) because it's a visual stream of consciousness. It appeals on an sub-emotional (maybe visceral, but that doesn't sound right. somewhere between that and subliminal) level before a visual one, precicely because I'm so used to seeing those kinds of images. Novelty isn't good for us.

I'm studying Graphic design. Hopefully I'll have better jargon later on.


Elliot Cowan said...

I'm not entire sure I understand your response, Wolfy...

Mike said...

I think your old bio tagline was, "I draw because I can't not," or something. Meaning you do it selfishly if not compulsively. It happens to be good and cool, which probably makes you feel good, but doesn't change anything. It wouldn't work the other way around.

I'm not sure what a "shlub" is, but it sounded like you were describing this blog? I'm not a shlub cause no one reads my blog. and rightfully so.


Elliot Cowan said...

You have missed the point I think, Wolfy.
Email me if you'd like some more clarification.

Anonymous said...

Does this refer to people who just do the same thing over and over again in the same style or people who are stuck in, er, let's say a 'Cartoon Retro' deferential, 'everything then was great, everything now is crap' loop, or people who do that shitty badly traced over a photograph thing that seems to be everywhere?

BTW, how was San Fran?

Elliot Cowan said...

This bit most definately "people who are stuck in, er, let's say a 'Cartoon Retro' deferential, 'everything then was great, everything now is crap' loop" although I'd call it reverential.
As for this bit - "or people who do that shitty badly traced over a photograph thing that seems to be everywhere?".
It's not quite the same thing but I do no disagree with your sentiments.

San Fran was delightful thank you for asking.
Wonderful people and a wonderful city

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